A Versatile Light-Triggered Radical-Releasing Surface Coating Technology

Organic based redox active materials and coatings are increasingly being investigated as solutions for more efficient energy devices, catalysts, sensors, and biomedical technologies. Their advantage is negating the necessity for expensive and unsustainable rare earth metals seen in other redox active materials. Challenges to their wide-spread usage remain, including versatility of coatings on a wide range of substrates, and creating smart devices that can respond to environmental stimuli. A new light responsive radical releasing redox coating has been developed, that can be rapidly and stably applied to a diverse range of substrates including silicon dioxide, plastics, and microparticles. These coatings rapidly cleave upon irradiation with UV-A light to release stable nitroxides from the surface coating. These coatings are developed into microparticle sensors for radical oxygen species, which are able to detect the generation of free radicals in a model system for particulate matter pollution. These new responsive organic redox coatings also offer future potential to function as switchable organic electrodes, and biomedical surface coatings to prevent biofouling and reduce inflammation.

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